Owensboro Senior High School

Band Hand Book

“Respect is not learned, it is earned


Welcome to the OHS Band. You are the most important part of our successful instrumental music program. Band is an academic filled with fun, excitement, rewards, and friendship.  You have joined one of the largest and most successful organizations in the school, and one of the fastest growing bands in the state of Kentucky, enjoy it and be proud of it. This handbook will outline your band program and should become a very important resource that you can turn to when questions arise.

The rules outlined on the following pages are simple and sound. Abiding by these rules allows you to fulfill an obligation to your school, to your community, to your fellow band members, to your family, and to yourself. You are embarking on a lifetime of musical enjoyment. The more you invest of yourself, the greater your reward. Together we can make this the best year ever.

Please take special notice of the sections dealing with attendance at functions, fees, grading system, rehearsals, daily procedures, and important events.

Parents and students are requested to read this entire handbook, discuss it, and keep it for reference for the school year.  There are inserts for a guardian and the student to sign and return back to me, stating that you have read and understand the band policies.

We appreciate all your support and look forward to another exciting school year.


Mr. Payton


Band Handbook Index



Owensboro Senior High School

Band Handbook - Section I




The OHS Band consists of four performing groups.   The marching band, the concert band, pep band, and the jazz band.  Because the performing arts is an important part of the schools humanities report card, the other art disciplines; art, theater, and music history, will be integrated in all of the regular band periods.  Students who are interested in band will be identified and signed up at the beginning of the year. 

Concert Band:  This is the advanced band which is made up of students who have attained a high degree of proficiency on their instrument. This class meets every day during school.  Members of this organization will perform at KMEA district band festival, perform either a solo or ensembles (at the local solo and ensemble festival), perform at five home basketball games, go to all basket ball tournament games, and should be prepared to spend time outside the school day preparing for these performances.

Marching Band     This is one of the most active organizations at Owensboro  Senior High School.  The marching band includes a two week camp over the summer, after school practice from 4:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M., performance at all school pep rallies, performance at all home and tournament games, performance at all local parades, special community events, and many contests throughout the year.  The marching band is a constantly traveling organization and is a great place to become involved with your school, and meet other students.  Marching students are some of the most athletic students in the school and the most disciplined.  The Sound of Owensboro marching band is the most visual organization at OHS.  Pride and respect for your school and self motivated discipline is required!  The school staff, the school administration, the board office, and the community recognize the greatness in our marching band, and you will too.

Fees=  the marching band carries a fee to participate.  Any student not in good standing with their fees will not be allowed to participate in the WKU honors band festival, the MSU honors band festival, All District band, All state band, and will not be able to participate in any extra booster/ band funded functions.

Contracts and medical forms:  each student is required to sign a marching band contract understanding the discipline, dedication, and time that the band requires.  A student’s medical form must be turned in before that student is allowed to ride a school bus.

Shoes, gloves, and uniforms:  each students is expected to take marching shoes home after every contest.  They must be cleaned and polished and returned the following Monday.  Gloves are purchased at $5 a pair from the band boosters.  Uniforms must be hung up properly and taken care of.

Jazz Band    The jazz band is an after school class that meets in the high school arts room starting in the month of November and continues until the end of the year.  The practice times will be two days a week until 5:00 P.M., the practice days will be decided by the director.  Drum Set, Electric Guitar, Base Guitar, Piano, Trombone, Trumpet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, and Baritone Saxophone are the only instrumentation of the band.  Other instrumentalist wishing to join are encouraged to play one of the abovelisted instruments.

Band Handbook - Section II



Band by its very name suggests oneness, teamwork, ensemble, and great cooperation, with everyone striving for a common goal.  A very small number of students find that they can't make this kind of sacrifice and become disruptive discipline problems in band class. These students will not be allowed to affect the quality of learning taking place in any band class. Continued problems will result in that student being moved to another elective. Band students need to accept responsibility for their actions, good or bad, and realize that your actions determine the amount of respect you get from the school staff, the parents, the administration, and the community!


Undisciplined students will not be allowed to flourish in the band class.  All discipline problems will be handled on an individual basis and will follow the OHS discipline plan.




The following is the guideline to a successful rehearsal. These guidelines should be considered rules. Rule violations incur a penalty and a resultant action that is negative to the band. The student who violates the rules is responsible for reducing the amount of time for rehearsal and consequently is hurting the entire band.

1. Enter the rehearsal hall in a quiet, courteous, and orderly manner.

2. Quickly get your equipment out of storage and take your seat.

3. A student will be considered tardy if they are not in their seat, ready to rehearse at the end of the passing period.

4. Students will check the chalkboard for the agenda and put their method books and music in the order of the agenda.

5. Concert attention will be observed when the director steps on the podium and no further talking will be permitted.

6. Students will not play instruments without permission.

7. Students will not play other student's instruments.

8. Band members should have the following for every rehearsal:
A)  Instrument,     B)  Music & book     c)  pencil and paper

9. Music stands are for music. They are not to be leaned on or abused in any way.

10. At the beginning of each period take out a pencil and paper, then begin working on the bell work.  No questions asked. The bell work will be at the top right hand corn of the chalkboard every day.

11. No drink, gum, or food is allowed in the rehearsal hall.

11. When class is over, quietly remain in your seat until I dismiss you.

12. Keep the rehearsal hall, the band hall, and the school clean of all trash.  Have respect for your surroundings.

13. If these simple rules are violated on a regular basis a parent teacher meeting will be called or a student can possibly be expelled from band.

Band Handbook - Section III


OHS band students are tested many times throughout the year. The vast majority of tests will be performance tests.  Major tests will be assigned several days in advance and will usually consist of an exercise, scales, a music passage from folder music, or an etude from a required method book. Other tests may occur randomly and may or may not be graded. These tests will be given from any source in the student's folder.


Areas that are graded:

Performance tests (discussed above 15% of the overall semester grade)

Attendance ( 20% to any daily practice or after school practices)

Concerts, Festivals, Solo and Ensemble Contests ( 35% of overall grade)

Written Tests ( 10% of the overall grade)

Participation ( By being prepared for class with finished daily practice assignments 15% of the overall grade)

Classroom pride and discipline (5% of your overall grade)



Band students at OHS should be prepared to devote a minimum of twenty minutes daily to individual practice. The rewards of playing a musical instrument increase in direct proportion to the number of hours invested in individual practice. These rewards include chair placement, grade, and self satisfaction. The key is to set aside a certain time every day for practice. Set up a daily schedule to insure that practice is an important part of your daily studies. Remember that the secret to success is practice and that the difference between the best player and the rest is the number of hours practiced.



Attendance is required for all rehearsals and public performances of the various performing groups that make up the OHS Band Program. Any reasons for missing a practice must be given to me in writing at the very latest 24 hours before the event.  Not all notes and excuses will be accepted.  One primary purpose of any band program is the preparation for and participation in public performances and festivals.  Never miss unless it is an emergency!


After school rehearsals/ performances:

                Most dates for public appearances are announced at the beginning of the school year or at the very least many weeks or even months in advance.  A band is a close knit team that is injured greatly by an individual absence at a contest or concert. The festivals and contests are a very important and a vital part of being in band and missing a performance will result in the lowering of band grades by 35% ( D ). Excused absences from public appearances will be granted in cases of genuine emergency only, such as serious illness or death in the family.  Please call if such an emergency arises.   Jobs, family trips, etc., do not justify absences. Students who feel they have an excused absence, and do not discuss it with the director before the performance and miss the performance, will be automatically unexcused from that performance.

Students frequently absent from classroom studies will loose rights to participate in the band's extracurricular activities.  Extracurricular activities are stated below:


The bulk of our work will be done during regular band period. Do not ask to be excused from this period except in emergencies. School policy will prevail in dealing with unexcused absences and tardies during the regular band period.   ( i.e.. no make up tests for other areas during band class)


SECTION REHEARSALS:     Attendance at section rehearsals is of utmost importance. This time is spent working on specific problems of the individual instruments and players. Sectionals will be scheduled after school with each student attending one after school sectional every  weeks.   All efforts will be made to work around scheduled conflicts such as athletics and other school functions.

Excused absences will be granted only by the band director after a note from the parent is received prior to the absence. In the case of unforeseen absences, a note must be presented to the band director upon return to class.


I am aware that there will be some conflicts with athletic events or practices that cannot be avoided. It is the students responsibility to inform me of any problem well in advance.  I will then work to resolve the problem with the instructor or coach of the conflicting organization.  Unexcused absences from section rehearsals will result in loss of all chair rank and must be made up to avoid a grade of zero. Every effort should be made to avoid doctors appointments, etc. on section days.


After school sectionals start promptly at 3:30 p.m. and will be over at 4:15 p.m. Make arrangements to be picked up ahead of time.



Students will not be allowed entrance to the band office without permission from the band director. Blanket permission will be given to librarians, and band officers requiring access. School policy applies concerning use of the phone. Students may only use the phone after school.  No student will enter the office area if a director is conducting business with a parent, administrator or another teacher.


Since performance is a major objective of any band, concert etiquette must be learned and practiced.

1. Everyone should remain seated during the performance of each selection. If one must leave during a concert, they should quietly exit between musical selections.

2. There should be no talking during another groups’ performance. Every effort must be made to avoid distractions.

3. At the end of each selection, the audience should applaud. Shouting or whistling is not acceptable. Hopefully all students will appreciate the opportunity to hear other groups perform. Should there be a problem with any student during a concert, that person may be asked to leave and may not be allowed to perform on the next concert. Remember that you must set an example of personal discipline. Be polite. Politely applaud regardless of your impression of the performing group. Do not be negative.

4.  Every one should remain for the entire concert if possible.  All groups work hard to prepare for a concert and each one should be treated equally.  A large audience will make the performance more memorable for the students.



The students will be making trips to concert and contest sites during the school year. A medical form will be sent home at the beginning of the year.  Please fill out the form and return it to me promptly.  A permission form with pertinent information will be sent home several days before the event.  A parent or guardian signature on these forms is required for the student to leave the school grounds. The form is very important, it keeps the parent informed and gives permission to travel to and from important band engagements.


Band Handbook - Section IV



Each year the Kentucky Music Educators Association sponsors a solo and ensemble festival.. This experience is open to all band students   Every band student from OHS will participate as either a solo or a part of an ensemble.  .Students entering the solo and ensemble contest must pay an entry fee  (usually $7.00 for a solo and $5.00, split between members of the group, for an ensemble ). Those playing solos must supply music and piano accompanist (if needed). The band office will supply names of piano accompanists if needed. The directors will help students select music for this contest. The band library contains many excellent examples of solos and ensembles and the students are encouraged to begin looking early through our collection.



KMEA sponsors programs to honor the outstanding high school band students from throughout Kentucky.  Members of the honor bands are selected based on an audition of scales, prepared music, and sight reading. Those students selected for the bands will participate in a clinic and concert.  It is an extreme honor to be selected to these elite group and OHS has always been well represented. All OHS band members are encouraged to participate.



The KMEA Concert Band festival is a very important event each year. This performance is the most important of the year.  So, do not miss.  The OHS Bands may actually be involved in several associated events. We may:

1. Perform at District Band Festival

2. Perform for the elementary schools

3. Perform at the middle school centers

4. Perform at the River park Center

5. Perform at three high school band concerts

Some of the events will take place during school hours and some will occur in the evenings.  The director hopes for great support from all band students and parents during the festival/ performance periods.


Band Handbook - Section V




1. Keep instrument free of dust.

2. Check pads weekly for worn or torn skins.

3. Keys should be oiled and wooden instruments should be bore oiled at least twice a year. Never perform either operation without instructions from one of the directors.

4. Mouthpieces should be cleaned daily. (things you can't see start growing)

5. Double reed players should have 2 playable reeds at all times. Clarinets and saxes should have 6 playable reeds. Playable means no chips or cracks and looks new. Try #3 Vanduren (blue box), listen to your private teacher.

6. Cases should be clean and clearly display name and class, on masking tape, on the end of the case facing into the band hall from your slot.


1. Instrument should be washed weekly, inside and out. Do not perform this task without instructions from your director.

2. Mouth pieces should be cleaned daily. (see previous #4)

3. Tuning slides should be greased after the weekly wash.

4. Trombone slides should be lubricated with the slide cream as necessary.

5. Valves should be oiled as necessary.

6. Cases should be kept clean and clearly display name and class, on masking tape, on the end of the case facing into the band hall from your slot.


1. All players should have two pair of snare sticks.

2. All players are responsible for keeping all equipment clean and in good working order.



Instruments will be supplied to students to give the band a well-balanced instrumentation. It is the duty of each student playing a school instrument to take the best possible care of it. Those persons using school equipment must fill out an agreement of use form, have it signed by the parent, and return it to the director.

Students using school instruments are responsible for any damage brought about through carelessness. It will be the student's responsibility to have the instrument repaired at an approved music store.



Music and folders will be provided free to students in band. The folder should last a semester. If a replacement is required before the end of the semester, a replacement may be purchased for a fifty cent fee. All students are responsible for all music in their folders. Folders should be kept in the assigned slot during the day. It will be each students responsibility to make arrangements to have their music at school if they are going to be absent.

It is very important that all music is taken care of and preserved for use in future years. Music lost or destroyed must be paid for at the rate of fifty cents per part. Students will be charged replacement costs for school owned method books that are lost. Music which is not turned in one day after it is taken up is considered lost and will be paid for.

Music may be marked in pencil only and music must never be folded. Try to get in the habit of numbering all measures of music in your folder.




The directors will always strive to give as much individual attention to each student, but time constraints, and the size of a band program, the directors do not reach each individual as often as needed. The success of every outstanding band program depends on the quality of the players as well as the determination of the band students to give that extra effort. Top school band programs across the state typically have large numbers of the students studying privately. Excellent private teachers take the student to the next level, many times teaching finer points that will never be covered in a class setting. Contact your director for help locating a private teacher.




There are many times during the year when the band will need the support and help of parent volunteers. We will have a range of needs in many different areas. Parental help will be needed as chaperones, office help, piano accompanists, transportation, etc.


 Inserts- Section VI





Form be signed by both parent and child




Form be signed by both parent and child